It’s taken a while for a game to come along that utilizes the Wii U’s unique NFC capabilities, but Nintendo has just confirmed that its first foray with the Skylanders-esque feature will be coming in the form of Pokemon Rumble U. This downloadable Pocket Monster title was originally revealed last month in the Japanese publication CoroCoro, but no one thought that the game would be the first to utilize the near field communication capabilities of the Wii U’s GamePad.
CoroCoro is once again the magazine responsible for detailing the forthcoming Pokemon game, confirming that fans in Japan can look forward special figurines arriving at Pokemon Centre stores across the nation on April 25th. What’s more, gamers won’t be breaking the bank trying to buy ’em all, as there’ll only be six toys, and an additional special figurine, made available for a measly ¥200 ($2.08) each. This means that collectors will be able to grab the entirety of the initial series for ¥1,400 ($14.55), a price that just falls short of the cost for Pokemon Rumble U itself.
Nintendo has only confirmed the Pikachu figurine for use with Rumble, but they have elaborated on specifics regarding the toy’s ability to interact with the game itself. According to Serebii, the cute collectibles can actually retain data, meaning that the results of any battling that the creature does while in-game will be stored within the toy itself. This would imply that trainers can pack up their battle-hardened monsters and bring them to a friend’s house to continue playing, which is only every child’s greatest dream come true.
After NFC capabilities were confirmed as part of the Wii U GamePad, the arrival of a Pokemon title that utilized the feature was really only a matter of time — I even suggested it in my feature about 10 Nintendo franchises that should come to Wii U. Regardless, with rising popularity of similar products, like Skylanders and Disney Infinity, it’ll be interesting to see how many toy-based video games the current market can maintain.
Pokemon Rumble U‘s crack at the genre appears to be more mild, however, and it’s likely just a way for The Pokemon Company and Nintendo to test the waters rather than release a full fledged Pokemon NFC game. Of course, if these newly revealed toys take off (and it’s easy to see them doing just that with their minuscule price point) then it’s a safe bet that something more substantial will be rolling along in the near future.
Now we’ve got just one question for you: Wii U Be Ready to Catch ‘Em All?
You can follow Riley on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.